is a Special Needs Shelter (SpNS)?
When a major disaster threatens DeSoto County
residents, medically dependent individuals may need to seek shelter
where they can continue with their oxygen needs and where limited
medical assistance can be provided. The special needs shelter will
have medical staff on hand to assist with basic medical assistance.
You May Qualify If:
You need assistance with basic,
You have a chronic condition that
requires assistance, but not hospitalization.
You are oxygen dependent.
It is important to keep in mind that a special needs
shelter is a shelter of last resort. It is even more
imperative that a person who has medical needs and cannot care for
him or herself have a disaster plan to address his/her needs.
Special needs shelter should only be relied upon as a back up to an
already well thought out plan.
What does a SpNS offer?
A special needs shelter will provide shelterees
Basic food and water. If you are on
a special diet, you will have to bring non-perishable food items
Basic medical assistance and
monitoring will be available from qualified health care
professionals; however, any advance medical care or equipment is
Back-up electricity and liquid
oxygen will also be made available.
Space for yourself and a caregiver
Space for service animals only.
There are no other pets allowed. You can make shelter
arrangements for your pet at the DeSoto County Animal Shelter.
I qualify but is there any reason why I would not
be allowed to stay in the shelter?
Yes. There are several factors that could prohibit
you from staying at the shelter.
- If you have a mental illness, you must have an
able-bodied caregiver with you or else you cannot stay
at the shelter.
- You must have your medication with you in the
shelter. You cannot be admitted without your life
- If you are reliant on any medical equipment and do
not bring the equipment, you will not be admitted. We
do not provide wheelchairs, walkers, etc.
Special Needs Shelter has limited availability and limited medical
care available. In order to give the best care possible under the
emergency circumstances, we do not accept the following categories
into this shelter:
Patients—There are no hospital beds in the shelter. This is
an emergency shelter with only low level cots
(Hemodialysis and Peritoneal)—SpNS does not have the staff
or the proper equipment
to the capacity of the SpNS cots, we cannot accept patients 300
lbs. and over
Dependent—SpNS does not have the staff or the proper
equipment to support ventilator dependent patients
Instability—the SpNS is not equipped with the appropriate
staff or facility to meet the needs of the patient. Any person
who is combative, proven to wander or exhibits violent
tendencies is a potential threat to themselves, staff and
shelterees and will not qualify
Requiring Isolation—For example MRSA or TB
How do I get there?
Please make every effort possible
to arrange for your own transportation. DeSoto County cannot
guarantee transportation. However, registrants that require
transportation to a Public or Special Needs shelter can
pre-register. Transportation is not provided to other private home,
hotels, etc. If a storm approaches, you should listen to local media
for evacuation recommendations. Special Needs Assistance or
transportation Assistance should be used only as a last resort.
What about my pet?
Clients coming to the special needs shelter may
arrange to shelter their pet at the DeSoto County Animal Shelter by
calling (863) 993-4855.